Translator's notes

Evening Primrose

By Christine Marendon

I discovered German poet Christine Marendon’s poems through a mutual friend. Christine had been invited to a festival in Slovenia, and needed English versions of six poems – could I make the translations? I enjoyed their enigmatic imagery and shifts in tone, the hints and glimpses of characters, situations and narratives, and made the translations, helped by a correspondence with her. These poems are taken from a short sequence from 2012 called ‘Die Weltreise des Wassers’ (Water’s Round-the-World Journey), which Christine has described as follows:

On the one hand it engages with Nature in the widest sense, but also with the spirit which animates Nature and the world, and the place of humanity in this system. Becoming and disintegration. That all sounds very bombastic, but I feel myself to be very small when I’m writing these poems… It’s also an experiment: to what extent can I simply surrender to a free sequence of images, when do meaning and context become lost?

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